Finnish meatballs (Lihapullat)

From Canada vs. Finland: a snack-off

Finnish meatballs

(Adapted from Acquiring Taste, using ingredients available in North America)


  • 2 lbs ground elk meat
  • 1 day old baguette
  • 1/2 cup balkan yogourt and 1/2 cup half & half cream, combined (to substitute for kermaviili)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika


Using a food processor grating attachment, grate the baguette. Spread the breadcrumbs out onto a baking sheet and place in the oven at 200 F for about 30 minutes, until they are dried out completely. Allow to cool, then blend the breadcrumbs until they are very fine, like the texture of cornmeal.

Cook the onions in a skillet with a little oil, until they are tender. Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 435 F. Soak the breadcrumbs in the cream mixture for about 10 minutes. The mixture should be firm and moist, not runny. Add the elk meat, onions, eggs and spices. Using your hands mix everything together until it is uniformly combined. Shape into walnut-sized meatballs and place on a greased baking sheet. Cook in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Serve on top of mashed potatoes with gravy and lingonberry sauce.


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 can condensed beef stock
  • black pepper to taste

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for about 5 minutes, cooking until it is a golden colour. Slowly whisk in beef stock. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until the mixture thickens. Season with black pepper.

Printable Recipe


  1. Canada vs. Finland: a snack-off | Soph n' Stuff - February 16, 2014

    […] Finnish meatballs (Lihapullat) […]

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